Jackie Ross “Be Sure You Know” (From the LP Full Bloom, 1964)
Chicago gives us a bulk of our early Aquarians. Also, Jackie Ross got her big jump towards stardom with the boost of Sam Cook and his SAR label. Although she’s best known for her Fall of ’64 triumph “Selfish One,” she’s one of the best purveyors of Windy City Soul. Although she doesn’t perform secular material today, we’re still dedicating this Saturday Brunch hour to her on her 70th Birthday.
It did seem for a flashpoint moment, she’d be the next Queen of the R&B charts. In the valley between Mary Wells’s departure from Motown and the rapid fire ascension of The Supremes, Ross’s first efforts for Chess blended what was much beloved about Chicago Soul Records with a new-breed, Motown influenced sheen that served her well. More or less, Chess Records less muscular marketing department, alongside some rather questionable missteps, left her with only one run into the Pop Top 40.
She did however get to make one of the best produced Soul LPs of 1964. We’re going with the penultimate track on Side A, this soulfully gliding on gossamer strings “look before you leap” tale of respecting what current intimacy bonds represent to questioning minds. Blessed with some of Riley C. Hampton’s finest arranging chops, the whole LP is worth multiple listens while relaxing on weekends.